Coalition: Fully fund lab cleanup

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Lab: The focus is currently on sealing toxic waste at Tech Area 54

By Whitney Jones

The Regional Coalition of LANL Communities is calling on Congress to provide full funding to the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s toxic waste clean-up efforts.
Members of the group recently returned from Washington, D.C., where they met with members of the New Mexico congressional delegation and federal Department of Energy officials to request adequate funding be provided as part of the fiscal year 2013 budget.
LANL is already bracing for a $300 million cut in funding — an 11 percent reduction — by FY13. And in order to fill the existing budget gap in the fiscal year 2012 budget, LANL announced a voluntary layoff program. Those employees will be notified Monday, if their application for separation has been accepted, and will leave the lab by April 1.
LANL Principal Associate Director of Global Security Terry Wallace said while the lab isn’t ready to release a specific figure on the number of people who leave under the program. He said the possibility of them having to move to involuntary layoffs is small. The lab aimed to shed between 400 and 800 employees under the program. The lab had a similar purging in 2008.

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